PRP is a form of regenerative medicine aimed at reducing pain and discomfort. This treatment method involves injecting your blood platelets into your injured knee to facilitate faster healing. Even though the FDA has not yet approved PRP injections for knees, they are being offered in the country by qualified professionals. This guide will enlighten you on PRP injections and any crucial details you need to know.
What Are PRP Injections?
Platelet-rich plasma injections are a treatment for reducing the discomfort related to osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Despite claims that PRP injections for knees are effective, researchers are still investigating it. While some PRP preparations have been approved by the FDA, the approval doesn’t mean that treatment can be used to fix OA of the knee. With its approval still in limbo, some clinics offer the treatment “off-label”. The current guidelines from the Arthritis Foundation (ACR/AF) and the American College of Rheumatology strongly recommend avoiding PRP injections. They argue that the treatment method has not yet been standardized and developed. Therefore, users cannot be sure of what the injection contains and its effects on the body. Nonetheless, PRP injections can become a very useful treatment option if further research is done.
How Do PRP Injections Work?
PRP injections depend on blood platelets to work. The platelets in your blood have growth factors. According to scientists, injecting PRP growth factors from your blood into an injured body part will help damaged tissues repair themselves by triggering the development of new cells. By doing so, PRP injections help reverse the damage sustained by tissues. The use of PRP injections to treat knee OA has not been confirmed as an effective and safe method. Even though many studies support the use of PRP injections for knees, many others are against it, saying it has no effect.
What Happens During a PRP Injection Procedure?
The process starts with your doctor drawing a small amount of blood from your arm. Afterward, they put the blood sample into a centrifuge to obtain a concentrated suspension of platelets in plasma. Afterward, the doctor will numb the knee and inject PRP into the joint area. In some cases, doctors use ultrasound to guide the injection. You will be allowed to go home after resting for a while. Since you might feel some discomfort in your knee, you shouldn’t drive yourself back home. Instead, have somebody else take you home after the procedure.
The Outlook for Knee Pain
PRP injections use your own blood to facilitate faster healing of damaged tissues. Even though there is some evidence that this treatment method can help reduce or manage pain caused by OA of the knee, it has not yet been approved by the FDA. Currently, most experts don’t recommend using PRP injections for knee OA. Their major argument is that there is no standardization during the preparation stage of PRP injections. Therefore, the use of this treatment method has been restricted to specific situations as research continues to be done.